IMG_1587A hard fought win in the second round of the Wirral Premier Cup against a side that will surely grace the Birkenhead Sunday Premier Division next season. This was a hugely anticipated tie and did not disappoint anyone who was watching.

It was straight into it after five minutes when Sean Holmes and the opposition winger became ‘involved’. Brunty thought he could sort it out but when it looked like it was getting tasty, he vacated the area and it was left to the ‘Wardrobe’ to sort out and eventually the Ref calmed the situation. Ten minutes later Mark Head cut in from the left and struck a right footed shot from twenty yards that flashed narrowly wide. Up the other end, ‘The Goose’ made a fine save as he parried a shot from distance. From the resulting cross he was crudely fouled and it all went off in the six yard box! As Goose’s team mates got round him, ‘The Wardrobe’ was alleged to have said to Goose’s assailant……“I eat Bricks!” How true this is, I do not know? My top mate Brunty has informed me that it is correct, although, how he would know when he was on the halfway line, well out of it, alongside that other ponce, Reayman, is in doubt!

As things heated up, it was clear Villa were not here to make the numbers up and passage into Round Three had to be earned. Tackles were flying in from both sides, players booked and even Packman was spoken to by Referee Neil Davis. Then Villa hit the post and in the scramble for the ball after the rebound, they had a huge penalty appeal for handball turned down. All this and only twenty five minutes gone !

After twenty six minutes, good link up play down the left resulted in Mark Head putting Sean Holmes in for a shooting chance and his shot took a deflection for a corner. Sean Holmes took the resulting corner and Tony Sample flicked it on into the Villa net. 1.0. It may of took a slight deflection on the way in but it would be harsh to deny Tony his goal.
Dock took a hold of the game in the period before half time and extended their lead on thirty five minutes when Paul Wood played a delightful ball to put Mick Saunders away down the right and his excellent cross to the far post found the head of Head and he duly made it 2.0. A great goal, Woody’s ball, Mick’s cross and Javier being where he should of been to nod home.

On forty three minutes Brunty done a little step over in midfield that drew gasps of admiration from the spectators. Rumours are that he is in fact, Storm Lee of X factor fame. Here’s me thinking Gary Reay and Brunty were actually Diva Fever of the same programme!

Just before the half time whistle Dock scored a third. Paul Byrne brought the ball out of defence and he had a couple of options on….. A short pass to Woody? A ball into midfield to Storm? No, he played it long into the corner flag for Mick Saunders to get hold of. Mick got a corner out of it and from that, it was played short to Bernie Holmes. He lobbed it in and it bounced over the keeper and in to make it 3.0. Simple goal you might think but it came from young Byrne making the right decision at that stage of the game. Protecting a two goal lead, right on the half, he could of easily passed to Woody or Storm and it may of broke down, they break and its 1.2 instead of 3.0. So well done Bernaaaaaaaard and credit to the Centre half.

Three up after half time you would think it was job done……far from it ! On fifty six minutes Reayman hit the post after being slipped in by Head and almost immediately Villa went down the other end to score. 3.1. Villa had a good five minute spell and hit the outside of the post during this period and on sixty five minutes reduced the deficit even more after Brunty’s header back to The Goose put him in trouble and although he saved, he could do nothing with the rebound and the ball found its way into the Dock net. 3.2. Villa were full of running and the Dock were finding it tough to stem the tide. We had an interesting last twenty minutes on our hands.

Dock were made to compete all the way and were awarded a penalty in the seventieth minute for a clear handball. Mark Head stepped up and scuffed it low to the keepers left to make it 4.2.

Still Villa kept going and Goose was in action again on seventy one minutes with a good save. Two minutes after that , Mick Saunders was put through but his strong run was well defended by Ex-Docker ‘Belgium Sam’. Next minute saw Reay blaze over the bar after rounding the keeper when he should of netted.

With ten minutes to go Charlie McInnes replaced Bernie Holmes to give fresh legs to proceedings and Woody was replaced by Nemanja Vidic who went to Right back.

On eighty five minutes, The Goose pulled off the save of the match when he got a strong hand to a shot from the edge of the area to put the ball over the bar for a corner which came to nothing.That was the last action of the match and the Dock were into the next round. A hard fought win against a side that we will be seeing a lot more of…. sooner rather than later.

Man of the Match :
Storm Lee….but a mention must go to Paul Byrne who was excellent throughout.

Match Report: Mike Stephens
Photos: Chris Stading

Tony Sample's Goal

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